World Economy

Monsanto Accepts $66b Bayer Offer

Monsanto Accepts $66b Bayer OfferMonsanto Accepts $66b Bayer Offer

The US seed and pesticide giant Monsanto has agreed to an improved takeover bid from the German pharmaceuticals manufacturer Bayer. The multi-billion-dollar deal will create the world's biggest crop seed producer.

German chemicals giant Bayer said on Wednesday it had signed a $66 billion takeover deal with US genetically modified seeds firm Monsanto, DW reported.

"Bayer and Monsanto have signed a binding merger agreement that enables Bayer to take over Monsanto for $128 per share," the firms said in a statement.

Bayer repeatedly increased its offer to Monsanto since its first $122-per-share bid in May, but the US firm had until now held out for more cash. Top managers at St. Louis-based Monsanto approved the sale to Bayer at a meeting on Tuesday.

Bayer reportedly agreed to double the so-called "anti-trust break fee" to about $2 billion that it would pay Monsanto if authorities did not approve the purchase, according to Bloomberg.

The deal stands to be the biggest-ever acquisition by a German company. It would create a new global leader in genetically modified seeds and pesticides. Bayer makes a wide range of crop protection chemicals, while Monsanto is known for its seeds business.

The transaction is still pending final approval from regulatory bodies in Europe and the US.

A merger of the two companies would make Bayer the world's largest crop science company, though the prospect has alarmed farmers worried about the impact it would have on the market for seeds and pesticides.

In addition, the deal would prove controversial because Monsanto is viewed unfavorably by many in Europe, where GM food products are heavily criticized.